Favorite Things: April 8, 2016

This is going to be really hard to narrow down each week. So I am going to pace myself and share just three this week... ok four. 

In no particular order, my Favorite Things this week are: 

#1: L'Oreal Paris Double Extended Mascara

No one's entire body is perfect (our imperfections make us beautiful), but we all have something on us that is pretty close. For me it's my lashes. My dad passed on the gene of super long lashes and for that I'm forever grateful. I'm super picky when it comes to mascara. I've used L'Oreal Double Extended since high school. I've tried lots of other mascaras and I always come back to it. 

It's two coats-- a white primer + mascara (you choose the shade, I always get blackest black). Also, major perk is you can get it any where and it's cheap. 


#2: Wild and Free by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan

Do yourself a favor and just go get it right now: you can go to Amazon and pre-order

Ok, now that you've done that let me just share the tag-line on the cover of the book and you will be hooked:

"A hope-filled anthem for the woman who feels she is both too much and never enough."

I know right. It's perfect. Don't you feel that way 99.9% of the time?! It something only us women really get. This burning desire to be and do something amazing with our days yet we hear this lie that whispers we can't. Oh but we can. In Him all things truly are possible. 

You will love it. You will probably read it ten times. You will want to be Jess and Hayley's best friend always and forever. You will heal wounds. Dream (again). Then be freed up to be you and do your thing. 

And if you pre-order, you get all kinds of freebies!!!!! You can check that out here

I was able to be on the launch team for this book, so I've gotten to preview the book, which is why I can endorse it. Also, on the launch team Facebook group, I've been able to get to know their hearts just a bit more and y'all they really do seem like the real deal. Just like us but with a message to share. This message will light a fire under you and feel like a giant hug all in the same moment.

Purchase Wild and Free by clicking this link >>


#3: Podcasts, specifically the Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey

I don't know where I have been but I had NO clue that podcasts were such a big thing and that there are so many of them. For having a brother who is a social media genius and innovator and a husband who is an IT Analyst, I am so very clueless on all things technology or internet. It's ridiculous. I thought podcasts were a place to download sermons. I have been listening to the Village Church podcast for years and years, my faithful folding laundry or grocery shopping companion, but didn't realize there were other things to listen to. 

I wouldn't say I know Jamie personally but I've known her virtually for years-- following her blog and on social media, so I don't know how I'm so very late to her podcast party. With the launch of Sacred Holidays I've had very little extra time, so blog reading and Netflix binging and all those fun extras have gotten put on hold. When Lent was winding down, I finally clicked on one of Jamie's links to her podcast and I'm SO GLAD I DID. 

Y'all it is so fun. Whether you are sitting in a cubicle, stalled in traffic, folding laundry or making dinner, you will feel like you are also sitting right in the middle of a happy hour with your girl friends. Not in a creepy you are the lonely girl at the bar and eaves dropping kind of a way. Nope in a totally normal, these girls could be my girls and we are meeting at a very casual yet all the cool vibes kind of a place and sipping whatever is your favorite drink and talking about real things-- from the serious to the seriously funny.  

You can listen to the Happy Hour podcast here. Also, Jamie often has some great promo codes her sponsors give and I've had fun trying those out too! 

{Jamie, thank you for this podcast. I've LOVED every minute of it. I've had this blog series idea brewing for a year now and I've loved your favorite things part at the end of each podcast so much that I finally decided I needed to do this series. Thanks for the inspiration girl!}


#4: Squarespace (website and/or blog platform)

I have been on blogspot and hated it. Switched to wordpress when that was the cool thing to do and wanted to curl up into a fetal position and cry any time I wanted to change something. About a year ago my genius brother, Nils Smith, suggested I switch over to Squarespace and I am SO glad I did. 

Listen, my website isn't the most amazing thing you've ever seen. I totally know that. But you know what? I pay $8/month instead of thousands to a web developer. To be clear, web developers are so awesome and if you have those kinds of funds, go for it. I have some really talented friends I wish I could afford. For those of us that are starting a business and want to stay debt-free in the process or have a blog to share our thoughts and our days, then this is a wonderful solution for us.  

Wordpress could make me cry real tears it was so hard to understand. I would rather learn how to speak french then figure out coding (and I'm married to an IT Analyst). If you are there, then may I give you the best gift ever: switch to squarespace. It is like website building for dummies. There are so many options of templates and then customizations for each templates. Each of those customizations is as simple as clicking a little button. That's it. 

Check out out all your options here